Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective presents
Written by Travis Lowe
Directed by Stephanie Hickling Beckman
A World Premiere!
This play, using the Greek mythology of Persephone and Hades as a starting point, deals both directly and metaphorically with Level 1 Bipolar Disorder. Balancing an inherent goddess complex, a complicated history, and extreme bouts of mania and depression, Oxalis takes us on a ferry ride, between Stephanie’s frenetic life and Hayden’s dark island. In this four-actor ensemble, Actors 1 & 2 represent a parade of characters who play significant roles in her journey. Oxalis raises questions relating to how those who suffer from the disorder are victimized by themselves and others, but is not intended to represent, nor should it be extrapolated to any sort of wider community of people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“People suffering from mental disorders are often portrayed in popular entertainment as being almost mythical creatures, either as monsters or as victims whose illness can be solved by some sort of magical event at the end of the screenplay. In reality, society often fears and shuns these people or keeps them at arm’s length out of a failure to understand. I wanted to bring these two different perceptions into a conversation with each other by presenting the realities of those suffering from bipolar disorder within the context of a well-known but problematic myth which has no easy conclusion.” – Travis Lowe, Playwright
Oxalis is the second play by Asheville playwright Travis Lowe to have been produced through Different Strokes’ Playwright’s resource program – UnderDevelopment.
Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective is Company-In-Residence at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.
18 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801 (map)